The Center for Disease Control of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong announced that a 56-year-old woman became infected with the H3N8 strain of bird flu.
The patient was infected in the city of Zhongshan and had a history of exposure to live poultry before her disease was detected, the institution reported on its website, which did not specify when the case was detected.
Its about Third human H3N8 case reported in China since April 2022.
The health status of the infected person is unknown at the moment, who suffered from multiple myeloma and other underlying ailments before her infection.
The Center reported that it carried out an epidemiological investigation and a follow-up on the close contacts of the infected person, without finding any abnormality among her relatives for the moment.
“Experts consider this to be a sporadic case and that the risk of contagion at this stage is low,” the statement said.
The institution recommends “avoid direct contact with live or dead birds in daily life” and “separate raw meat from cooked meat”.
Likewise, the health authorities advise that people with symptoms in their respiratory system wear a mask and inform a doctor if they have been in contact with birds.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H3N8 avian influenza viruses are commonly detected worldwide in animals and are frequent among domestic and wild birds, although infections have been reported from several species of mammals.
However, the WHO states that the risk of sustained spread between humans is low at regional, national and international levels.
Effective vaccines in birds
On the other hand, two vaccinations tested by a Dutch veterinary research center have been shown to be effective against highly infectious avian influenza in a first experiment performed in a controlled environment. “The vaccines not only protected the poultry used in the laboratory against the symptoms of the disease, but also counteracted the spread of bird flu,” the Dutch government said in a statement on March 17.
One of the vaccines was produced by the French Ceva Animal Health and the other by the German Boehringer Ingelheim.
Bird flu has swept across the world in the past year, killing more than 200 million birds – six million in the Netherlands alone – skyrocketing the price of eggs and raising government concerns about human contagion. .
Some countries, including China, already vaccinate against bird flu, and as the virus appears to have become endemic, other governments around the world that have opposed vaccines are reconsidering their stance.
His opposition centered on the fear that a vaccine could mask the spread of bird flubut the tests indicate that this would not be the case for the two tested in the Netherlands.
As part of a European programme, the Netherlands is testing avian influenza vaccines in laying hens, France in ducks, Italy in turkeys and Hungary in Peking ducks. Most of these tests are based on already existing vaccines adapted to the particular H5N1 strain that has been spreading across Europe.
(With information from EFE)
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